Book Review: Remote by Lisa Acerbo


Synopsis for Remote:

When technology fulfills every dream, reality becomes a nightmare.

Below the streets of New State, the undergrounders fight to remain free of the technological control of the world above. Every night, Yara risks her life fighting New State’s deadliest weapons, the drones. Half human and half machine, their living half tortured until everything human is gone, the drones have only one objective. Kill. And they do it with exacting precision.

Yara is good at her job and committed to her raids on New State. Until one of those raids brings her face-to-face with Joshua, a New State citizen who doesn’t quite fit her preconceived expectations. After a couple of awkward encounters, he shows her the meaning of hooking up—a computer simulation that allows people to live out their fantasies—without the complication of emotional entanglements or physical reality. But what Yara feels for Joshua is very real. And it’s punishable by law.

As she and Joshua grow closer, she convinces him to leave New State for her underground cause. But as the unrest between New State and the underground escalates, and the drones move in to destroy her world, nothing goes as planned. Families are arrested, loyalties are strained, and Yara’s forced to choose between her people and her feelings. The wrong choice could mean the end of her people, and reality could slip away—forever…


This book was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I discovered this author when she published her first novel, Apocalipstick. I enjoyed Ms. Acerbo’s first book so much that I connected with her on social network just so I wouldn’t miss further work. It delighted me to learn that she published Remote. I couldn’t wait to get my hands on the book and will tell you that I was NOT THE LEAST BIT disappointed.

I enjoyed following Yara on her raid missions and held my breath each time she risked her safety by visiting Josh, the tech-head.  This modern day West Side Story with a sci-fi twist provides the right about of romance, drama and action.  Not only does Yara struggle to make her first romance work, she must fight half human-half machine monsters designed to kill and protect her community by leading a war against the enemy.  The fight scenes are suspenseful and well written.  It was easy to imagine myself in the action and to feel each character’s pain.

The author did a fantastic job creating three-dimensional characters that readers care about.  At the same time, the suspense keeps readers turning pages. This young-adult, sci-fi novel is one that parents and their teens will equally enjoy.  The characters are rich, the plot is exciting, the writing is intelligent and the story is without foul language and sex scenes.  I strongly recommend this book for adults and teens, alike.

photo1About the Author:  Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at the University of Phoenix. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, three cats, and two horses. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and tries to pursue some type of further education. She recently completed her EdD.

Other books written by this author:

Apocalipstick_150dpi_eBook (2)

Synopsis:  Life is bad after the apocalypse…the undead just made it worse.

Jenna should be having the time of her life at college. Instead, her one desire is survival. She lives in a world gone insane after a virus kills most of the population. Being alive after the apocalypse is bad, but when the undead return, hungry for humans, times turn darker. For Jenna and a small group of survivors, the goal is to reach the High Point Inn. At the inn, Jenna develops feelings for Caleb, who, while exotic and intoxicating, is notquite human. Will this new utopia last?


Pretinha’s Dreams for 2015: A Family


Each year, thousands of Long Island families consider adding a dog to their household.   Animal shelters and rescues have fantastic opportunities for families to rescue their pet.  I’d like you to meet a magnificent dog currently living in the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter. Her name is PRETINHA.

pretina2“Happy New Year!  Something tells me that 2015 will be the year I find a family. My name is Pretinha! I am a Shepard/Labrador mix with the most beautiful (and unusual) blond, brindle coat. Long walks and chasing tennis balls are two activities I enjoy.  My dream is to live in a household with a family who loves and understands me. In return, I promise to provide my family with years of love, laughter, kisses and loyalty.

Romy, my human “buddy” at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, teaches me new tricks and keeps me company.  Romy and my other human friends prepared me to make a great family pet.  Now, the only thing I need is you.

Please share my story with everyone you know. This way, if they are looking for a fabulous dog, their search will be over when they meet me.  I’ve packed my tennis balls and am waiting eagerly for you to rescue me.”

More about Pretinha:  Four-year-old Pretinha is a sweet dog who loves people, tennis pretina3balls and running around the yard.  She walks well on a harness and is friendly with dogs she passes on the street; even so, she would prefer to be the only dog in the household.  This goofy girl is sprayed, up-to-date on her vaccinations and is our only remaining 2012 dog.  Pretinha has spent half of her life in a shelter, please help her dreams of a family come true. Consider adding this charming girl to your family. She would do best in households with children over the age of ten. She can live with cats.

Learn more about Pretinha by calling the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter at 516-785-5220. The shelter is located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh, New York.

A Dog’s View: Tip 8 – Impulse Control

jax3Hi, my name is Jax. I have waited a long time for an opportunity to blog and am excited to share my story.  For starters, my human friends at the shelter tell me that I have the cutest ears.  Everyone at the shelter is super nice.  They constantly praise me for learning quickly and for my ability to get along with other animals.

I love when people stop by my cage to offer a treat.  I politely take the treat and often flash a goofy grin their way.  One day I hope the grin and the ears warm someone’s heart.  I’m tired of waiting for my forever family to rescue me.  I would make a wonderful family pet. For some reason, I am constantly overlooked — probably because there are so many cats and dogs waiting for a family.

jax4I sure wish loving arms would replace the bars and walls that surround me.  Please share my story and help me settle into a home in time for the holidays.  I don’t want to spend another holiday season alone.

Thank you for taking the time to read my story.  In return, I’d like to share a dog tip.  My trainer, Laura Garber, teaches me new things every day.  Enjoy the information.


Tip #8: Impulse Control

Instilling impulse control means teaching your dog that he gets the things he wants for polite behavior, not for demanding behavior.  If your dog wants to go for a walk, dancing around when he sees the leash is going to make the leash go back on the hook; sitting quietly to be leashed up is a successful way of saying please and will get the desired result.  While waiting for his meal to be prepared, barking and whining will mean that the dinner bowl goes back on the shelf out of reach; sitting calmly and waiting to be released to his bowl will earn his meal.

Ideally, with impulse control exercises, you don’t want to tell your pooch what to do explicitly. That would be solving his problem for him.  Instead, wait for polite behavior to be offered.  This way your pooch is learning how to be a polite dog every moment of the day, not just the moments that he’s receiving direct instruction from you.

jax1About the Author:  Jax is a two-year old Terrier-American Pit Bull mix.  He is playful, smart and tolerant of other dogs.  Jax enjoys playing with toys and is a great companion. He is up-to-date with his vaccinations and neutered. Visit the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh.  The telephone number is 516-785-5220.

A Dog’s View – Tip 7 – Don’t Punish a Warning



Hello, my name is Miss Gray. I am a genteel lady who shares food, toys and treats with others. I get along well with dogs, but crave human contact. Regardless of the outstanding treatment I’ve received at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, this life does not suit me. The stress of living in a shelter caused me to lose a great deal of weight.

If you’d like to share your life with a fabulous running mate or a fun walking buddy, come by the shelter to meet me. We can play fetch and I’ll even show you how I catch a ball in midair. Afterward, I’d like to snuggle on your lap and feel loving arms wrapped around me. If you aren’t in the market for a best friend, kindly share my photo with other dog lovers. I want nothing more than to live the rest of my life with a family who loves me.


Perhaps you can also share Tip 7 with your friends. My trainer Laura is a smart cookie. I recommend everyone follow her advice.

Tip #7: Don’t Punish a Warning

Did you know… that growling is one way that dogs communicate their discomfort to other dogs and to people?  Growling is a dog’s inhibited way of saying, “Hey, I don’t like it when you do that!”  The problem is that, if you punish your dog for growling, then you are leaving him no choice but to escalate his behavior, even biting perhaps, to get his message across.  So, instead of punishing your dog for growling, thank your lucky stars that he chose to communicate in this way instead of resorting to something more drastic.  Of course, now you need to train him to be more comfortable when situations like this arise again!


About the Author: Miss Gray is four years old. She loves walks, spending time outdoors, swimming, playing fetch and snuggling. She is vet checked, spayed and up-to-date on all of her vaccinations. Visit Miss Gray at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh, New York. For more information, please call 516-785-5220.


A Dog’s View – Tip 6: You Are What You Eat

versace  Hello, my name is Versace. I am a four-year-old Terrier-Pit Bull. Not only am I adorable, I am affectionate too. I had a great life until allergies forced my owner to surrender my sister and me to the animal shelter. One day soon, I hope to find a home with people who love me.

My sister Sassie is an eight-year-old purebred Rottweiler. Being in a shelter frightenssassie her. My wish for Sassie is to find a quiet home to live out the rest of her life.

I’ve shared my hopes and dreams, now I’d like to provide the benefits of welcoming a dog into your life. Did you know that owning a pet can improve your overall health? One walk a day or a several minutes playing ball with your pet would increase your activity level, thereby lowering blood pressure and improving heart health? In addition, our silly behavior brings extra smiles to your face and leaves you in a better mood. Tests indicate that spending time with animals lowers your stress level more than spending time with family and friends. I’m sure having someone who views you as the greatest person in the world also plays a positive role in emotional health. Decrease the amount of hours you spend in a doctor’s office by stopping by the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter to adopt your next pet. My paws are crossed that you’ll pick Sassie or me.

I’ve shared the benefits of owning a dog, now I’d like to share a tip that will keep your pet healthy. This tip comes from our trainer Laura Garber. Laura and the staff at the animal shelter are committed to keeping our hearts and bodies healthy. Enjoy Tip 6 – You Are What You Eat!

The saying “You are what you eat!” applies as much to dogs as it does to people.  Feed your dog a diet with high-quality nutrient sources.  Look for specific meats (like “chicken”) as well as specific meat meals (like “turkey meal”), which offer a high concentration of the meat source.  Avoid by-products and, above all, corn, which is a simple sugar.  Finally, remember that animal proteins are not only tastier but also more digestible than plant proteins in dogs.  It is a rare dog that can thrive on a vegetarian diet.

Is your dog hyper, unfocused, and exhibiting out-of-control behavior?  It may be due to an extremely high level of cereal foods such as wheat, corn or corn meal.  As a test, soak a piece of his kibble in water for 15 minutes; if it swells in size and gets mushy, it’s mostly cereal.

Thanks for visiting our blog. Please tell your friends about us.


Versace and Sassie


About the Author and her sister: Versace’s former owner indicated that she is house trained, crate trained and lovable. Her sister Sassie is a gentle giant who would flourish with a family familiar with her breed. Both dogs are spayed and micro chipped. For more information, please contact the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh, New York. Our telephone number is     516-785-5220.


A Dog’s View: Tip 5 – Stop Dog Jumping



UPDATE:  COLT FOUND HIS FOREVER HOME.  Good day young people!  My name is Colt. Long, tedious hours in my cage allows me to people watch.   One thing I’ve noticed is that most customers walk past senior dogs without as much as a glimpse. Instead, they rush over to the puppies.   What these people don’t realize is that millions of animals are relinquished by their owners each year.   Many of the surrendered dogs were adopted or bought as puppies.  Most times, the adorable creatures did nothing more than grow larger than their owners anticipated, while others required more care than their owners could dedicate.

I’ve always wanted to educate puppy-loving people on the benefits of adopting a senior dog.  I’m glad I finally have the chance.

Senior dogs:

  1. Are wise enough to interpret human emotions and therefore are eager to please;
  2. Need little or no training and we won’t destroy your belongings;
  3. Are thrilled to receive a second chance at love and therefore, we acclimate fast;
  4. Don’t get any bigger.
  5. Enjoy exercise; however, the only marathon that interests us is watching the entire season of your favorite television show.  Share your couch or provide a comfortable bed and we’re happy;  and
  6. Will not grow into grumpy teenage dogs.  We are an open book.

Did I mention that we are wise beyond our years?  How many puppies can provide a dog-training tip?  Past blog posts prove that older dogs teach valuable information to dog owners.   In fact, I am proud to provide a tip I learned from my trainer, Laura.

Tip 5 – Stop Dog Jumping

Dogs jump because it’s fun – not because of any intention to achieve world domination!  When your dog jumps up, fold your hands across your chest and turn away.  If he persists, walk into him, taking up his space as he was taking up yours.  This will make jumping up less fun because you become a less predictable target.  Do some slaps to your thighs or stomach, something he might perceive as inviting jumping, but then turn away (or, again, walk into him).  Doing this will thwart the attempts of other people to get your dog to jump up on them.  Then reward him for making the better choice, like sitting!

I hope you will consider adopting or fostering a senior dog.  Some people worry that the pain of losing their four-legged friend will be too much to handle.  Spending the rest of my life in a shelter is far worse. I hope you’ll welcome me into your family.  Before you close this page, check out some of my friends at the shelter.






Scorpio – ADOPTED!









About the author:  Colt is a nine-year-old Korean Jindo/Mix who is desperate to leave the shelter for a loving home.  He is a sweet dog who is good with children and other animals.  Colt is vaccinated, neutered and tested negative for heartworm.  If you are interested in meeting Colt, or another wonderful senior pet, please stop by the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter located at 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh, New York.

A Dog’s View: Tip 4 – Walk without the Pull

billblassSCREENWRITER WANTED to help write my happy ending. The sole prerequisite for this position is love.  Hey there, my name is Bill Blass.  I spend my days at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh reading the papers that line my cage.  My favorite part of the newspaper is the Movie section. 

I don’t know about you, but the movies this summer are a bit frightening. Have you seen the flick where monkeys take over the world?  How about the prehistoric creature that devastates a city? I prefer family stories with happy endings. That isn’t to say that my story isn’t any less terrifying than the movies mentioned above.  There isn’t enough time to start from the beginning, so I’ll begin the day I arrived at the animal shelter.  I didn’t arrive in clothing and sandals like the monkeys.  My attire was a choke collar attached to a heavy metal leash that was weighted down with padlocks. My previous owner didn’t keep his promise to love me until the end of time.  In fact, he hated when I showed him affection and took to constrain me in a terrible manner. The marks along my nose are constant reminders of his discourse.   

My prayers were answered he day animal control rescued me.  The staff members and volunteers at the shelter, treat me well.  I even made a new two-legged friend who enjoys my kisses.  Her name is Andrea.  She’s really nice and pretty too.

Laura Garber, my trainer, spends a great deal of time with my dog friends and me. She’s taught us how to act like gentlemen.  I work hard during her classes just so my next owner treats me better.  Do you want me to share a tip I learned just last week?  Great! This is Tip 4 – Walk without the Pull.

Dogs enjoy pulling and are actually encouraged to pull when they wear traditional collars and harnesses where the leash attachment is on their neck or their back.  It’s called opposition reflex and the perfect example is the husky pulling the sled… he shoulders into the load!  But there is walking equipment available that will discourage pulling.  Front-attach harnesses, such as the Easy-Walk or the Freedom Harnesses, are effective in decreasing pulling on leash.  Alternatively headcollars like the Gentle Leader, the Halti, the Snoot Loop, or the Canny Collar, can decrease pulling on leash for dogs with issues on leash (lunging, etc) or for dogs who outweigh/outmuscle their handlers.

Of course, dogs should be trained to loose-leash walk, as if holding hands with their humans, but these no-pull devices can help as you work on these skills.

Thanks for dropping by our blog!  If you’re looking for a friend to watch movies with, please stop by the shelter and complete an adoption form.  I savor a broad array of genres – provided we don’t watch Garfield by Twentieth Century Fox or Disney’s Lion King.  Cats – yuck!

About the Author:  Bill Blass is a three-year old Terrier, American Staffordshire/Mix.  He enjoys spending time with everyone – from kids to strangers.  He is healthy, heartworm negative and up to date on all vaccinations.  Help Bill write a happy ending for himself, stop by the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter, 3320 Beltagh Avenue, Wantagh, New York and provide him the life he deserves.

A Dog’s View: Tip #3 – “Tap Out”.

  tommy‘Hey There’! My name is Tommy. How did you ring in 2014? I hope your year started better than mine did. On New Year’s Eve, I listened to Harry Connick, Jr. on the stereo, fastened my blue bow tie about my neck and steered it out for an evening of merriment. Rather than dancing the night away with the cute Boxer down the block, I landed in a shelter.   To my dismay, no one ever came looking for me.   I don’t want you to ‘cry me a river’ because my human friends at the shelter have been great to me.   In the six months I’ve resided here, they’ve taught me to sit, lie down and play some ridiculous game called cookie drop. I don’t know where that name comes from because no one ever drops the cookie. I sit like a gentleman and wait for them to lower it to my mouth.   It should be called ‘Oh, ain’t that sweet’ game, because when the cookie reaches my lips, I’m thinking “sweet”.

Until someone comes to rescue me, I’ll hang with my dawgs. In the meantime, My trainer Laura taught me something new this week.  Please enjoy Tip #3 – “Tap Out”. 

Dogs sometimes roll over on their backs in an evasive maneuver referred to as a “tap out” to avoid certain handling.  The term “tap out” comes from wrestling jargon for the flat-handed tap a wrestler might do on the mat to signify he wants to quit the match.  In dogs, though it may look like a request for a belly rub, it is really a form of passive resistance, or passive submission, given in response to something that is being done.  The maneuver often happens when you’re trying to put on a leash or manipulate a collar, harness or head collar – your dog is trying to turn off your collar-grabbing behavior, for instance. To persist may only drive him to escalate his protest because, from his perspective, his wishes are not being heard.  As a result, he may protest with a growl or even a snap. 

 So, instead of insisting on continuing, help your dog gain more ease with what you’re trying to do. If it’s a concern about collar grabs, teach him “gotcha”. If he consistently taps out when you’re putting the harness or head collar on, teach him a “get dressed” exercise to have him put the equipment on himself.


I hope this tip is helpful for you and your pet. Before I bid farewell, I wondered if you understood the quoted terms above. If you guessed that they are all Harry Connick, Jr. song titles, you have great taste in music. Until next time, here is ‘a wink and a smile’ from me to you. Fondly, Tommy!


tommy2About the Author: Tommy is a two-year old Hound/Pit Bull. He is vet checked, vaccinated and has tons of love to give. He’d be happiest in a home with a yard so he can burn off his puppy energy. At night, he’d love a forever friend with a warm lap to snuggle into.   To meet Tommy, contact the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh.

A Dog’s View: Tip 2 – The Wagging Dog

 snow1 HI, my name is Snow! Did you peek at my photo and wonder how I got that name?   You are not alone. Several people ask the same question. Let me explain. I am a “cool” dog who loves to “chill” on a warm day with the great staff members and volunteers who care for me.   My story began with animal control. They found me wandering the streets. The moment I saw the workers in uniform headed my way, I “breezed” on down the road to the safety of a backyard. I thought I was safe from capture until the homeowners denied knowing me. I won’t tell you whether they were honest at the time, because I decided to “let it go”. I’ve since met compassionate people who have taught me well. I walk like a queen, know how to sit and I even wait patiently for a treat. Since the great people at the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh have taught me many wonderful things, I thought I would pay it forward an share an animal tip with you.   My trainer Laura taught my handlers and me this tip during our last buddy class. Enjoy Tip 2 – The Wagging Dog.

 Tip #2

Did you know… that a wagging dog is not necessarily a happy dog?  There are all types and tempos of wags.  A wide, lolling wag is a happy invitation, a “come hither” signal.  But a high, stiff wagging tail that is flagged, which means that it’s curved in the direction of the dog’s head, is not meant to express invitation at all.  In fact, it’s what’s called a distance-increasing signal among dog experts. 

Of course, different breeds have different tail carriage, and even within a breed there is individual variation.  Shiba Inus have high, curly tails, and German Shepherds tend to carry their tails quite low.  Some breeds, like Australian Shepherds and Rottweilers, don’t even have tails and that can make it tricky for humans and even for other dogs to read a dog’s intention!


I hope you enjoyed my Blog post. If you or a friend is looking to adopt a pet, I hope you will visit the Town of Hempstead Animal Shelter in Wantagh for your new four-legged family member. Do me a favor and let the staff know that Snow sent you.


snowAbout the author: Snow is a two-year old Hound mix with a beautiful brindle coat. She is vet checked and up-to-date on vaccinations. This girl is sprayed and a great addition to any family with older children.   Snow waits in the front hallway of the shelter for someone to finally notice her.